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Constructivism

 Constructivism is a theory of learning that emphasizes the active construction of knowledge by


individuals.
 Constructivists’ viewpoints suggest that learning occurs when individuals integrate new
knowledge with existing knowledge.
 Learning is viewed as a natural and ongoing state of mind.

Three major components of constructivism

1. Learning takes place through internal mechanisms that are often unobservable to the viewer
(internal thought processes).
2. Learning often results from a hypothesis-testing experience by the individual (making a guess,
trial and error).
3. Learning results from inferencing (filling in the meaning gaps, reading between the lines)

People associated with Constructivism

 John Dewey
 Louise Rosenblatt
 Elizabth Moje
 Nelson Goodman

Whole language and instructional strategies

 use of real, high quality literature for literacy learning


 use of real, meaningful contexts for literacy activities
 child centered instruction based on student interests
 heavy emphasis on student choice
 use of thematic instruction
 use of active, social learning experiences
 use of “teachable moments”
 use of a variety of grouping systems
 use of large blocks of time for integrated literacy activities
 use of alternative systems of assessment, such as portfolio assessment
 use of centers in the classroom

Thematic instruction

 a form of instruction that is integrated through the use of a unifying concept or theme
 “Literacy becomes meaningful when it is consciously embedded into the study of themes and
content subject areas” (Tracey & Morrow, 2011, p. 69 ).
Three types of thematic units

1. Organized around a literacy genre or a particular author (ex. Author study, fairytales)
2. A theme with a social studies or science thrust (ex. dinosaurs, government)
3. Use of a science or social studies topic and with literacy consciously integrated into all content
area lessons including music, art, math, social studies, and science

Constructivism

Inquiry learning Psycholinguistic/ Whole


language

Transactional/
reader response schema

engagement
metacognition

(Tracey & Morrow, 2006)